By George A. Buskirk and Alexandra Toma
A little past midnight at a gas station in Mexico a man approached a car, forced the driver and passenger out at gunpoint and bound them in an empty parking lot before driving off. In the carjacked vehicle was Cobalt-60, a highly radioactive material that could be used to make a dirty bomb. The radioactive cargo disappeared for two days before eventually being recovered.
The Mexico incident, which took place in December, is part of a troubling pattern of loss and theft of weapons-usable materials worldwide. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that more than a hundred thefts and other incidents involving nuclear and radioactive material occur every year. Fortunately, there was some real progress made in preventing nuclear terrorism when President Barack Obama and more than 50 world leaders gathered for the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in late March. Now, Congress must rise to the challenge and do its part.
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